Unpretentious yet upmarket, The Pedal Pusher left a lasting impression on Kate Preece.
On yer bike
At The Pedal Pusher, Alfred Preece (no relation) is given much of the credit for Christchurch's enduring love of cycling. Splashed across an interior wall is the story of his 1880s' Cyclists' Exchange and an unfortunate incident with a rat that caused a rider to come a cropper. The restaurant/bar promotes pushing pedals as the perfect way to escape the rat race, as is whiling away an evening at this Addington establishment.
At 8pm on a Friday, I parked on a dimly lit side street off Lincoln Rd. The Pedal Pusher has no off-street parking, a surprise at first, until I remembered CBD nights always started with a taxi ride.
More flashbacks were triggered as I walked past The Miller Bar's rowdy rugby fans and the Bedrock, which was welcoming passengers off a brightly coloured party bus. The modern red-and-black interior of The Pedal Pusher was like a beacon in the darkness.
Inside, the bar's blackboard menu stated "tandems" (doubles) were standard, and asked patrons not to be offended if they were asked to prove they no longer needed training wheels.
Pedal Pusher customers can even pull up on a bike - a bar stool with a bike seat - and kid themselves they've earned a guilt-free plate of ribs or chicken wings (bar snacks $9-$12).
When it comes to drinks, there were plenty of the usual suspects, from wines to whiskies, with a few bells and whistles to boot. We studied a menu on which each wine, cocktail and port had its own tasting notes and still wines could be bought by 150ml, 250ml or the bottle, which started at $38 for whites and reds. A few beers even came by the flagon (2.25l).
It was cocktail hour for us and Amy "the cocktail king" shook me a mean mojito. The caprioska had a kick, too ($12 each), and both were served with a slice of wit and friendly banter. The staff were efficient, friendly and ... happy! Not a scrap of pretentiousness among them.
Seated at leaners, we watched a middle-aged woman dance enthusiastically in the outdoor seating area, a trickle of potential Court Theatre patrons coming and going, and a trio of lads in their 20s dropping in for a drink as it neared the bewitching hour.
The bar was at its busiest when we arrived, which suggests it is most popular for dinner, drinks and after-work functions. However, it seemed apt for any occasion and any company.
We called it a night at a very sensible 10.30pm, but were definitely tempted to settle in and "let the good times roll".
Where: 284-286 Lincoln Rd, Addington.
Service: With a smile.